On May 15, the Pennsylvania Attorney General Attorney General Michelle Henry announced a $11 million settlement with a rent-to-own lender and its subsidiaries accused of engaging in predatory financing practices. Among other claims, the AG alleged that the company and its subsidiaries disguised the nature of financing products it offered, concealed outstanding balances, engaged in deceptive collection practices, and used a web portal that allowed retailers to sign consumers up for financing without their knowledge. In particular, the lender disguised one-year rent-to-own agreements as “100-Day Cash Payoffs” and then concealed the balances owed. In its initial complaint, the AG alleged that these actions violated Pennsylvania’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, Rental-Purchase Agreement Act, Goods and Services Installment Sales Act, and Fair Credit Extension Uniformity Act. The company did not admit to any of the Attorney General’s allegations and continues to expressly deny any wrongdoing in the case.
A.J. is a special counsel in the Finance and Bankruptcy Practice Group in the firm's Washington, D.C. office.